Portimonense take Madeira by storm

Portimonense and in-form forward Fabrício, in particular, picked up where they had left off with their 4-1 win against Rio Ave last week by thrashing Marítimo 3-0 on Monday night.

Following some early pressure from the islanders, Fabrício saw the home defence open up in the face of his determined run at goal and Marítimo keeper Charles could only watch as the Brazilian finished with aplomb to give the Algarveans the lead after 12 minutes.

Fabrício was in the thick of the action again a mere five minutes later when leading the counter-attack after a Marítimo corner had been cleared, a neat interchange of passes with Shoya Nakajima producing another clinical finish past the helpless Charles. And the half-hour was still not up when Fabrício added to his scoring prowess with a raking pass from midfield which allowed Tabata to slip his markers and give the blameless Charles no chance of stopping the third successful strike of the short night.

Thereafter, Portimonense were content to sit back but still came closer to adding a fourth while Marítimo were taking shots from distance.

The introduction of lively reinforcements Fede Varela and Galeno towards the end brought some fresh impetuous and both could easily have added their names to the score sheet before the final whistle was blown.

The second good win against higher-placed opposition in as many games sees manager Vítor Oliveira’s men rise to 10th place in the league table ahead of perhaps their biggest challenge of the new year, Saturday evening’s visit from Benfica. Tickets went on sale last Tuesday for the expected sell-out match for which temporary stands have been erected raising the municipal stadium’s capacity to 6,000.

Off the pitch, the last day of the January transfer window featured a late surprise move from Sporting for Ghanaian left back Lumor, who signed a € 2.5 million four-and-a-half-year contract with the Lisbon club, thus rejecting a €5 million rival offer from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven. He was immediately replaced at Portimonense by 22-year-old on-loan Porto defender Rafa Soares, who spent the first half of this season with Fulham.

The Algarveans also strengthened their attack by concluding the already pending loan signing of Porto Alegre’s 20-year-old forward André Clóvis.


Photo: Portimonense’s in-form forward Fabrício (centre) celebrates a goal against Marítimo in Funchal on Monday, February 5